Alexandre Lacazette's Arsenal Future in Doubt Amid Second 'Balloongate' Scandal

Alexandre Lacazette
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Alexandre Lacazette has reportedly had his Arsenal future cast further into doubt, after tabloid reports pictured the player appearing to inhale from a balloon.

In December 2018, Lacazette - along with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi - was 'reminded of his responsibilities' by the club, when footage emerged showing the players allegedly inhaling nitrous oxide - known as 'laughing gas' or 'hippy crack' - from a balloon.

It was hardly a great look for the French striker, then, when it emerged in the Star over the weekend that he had texted friends saying he was 'at home, chilling and doing balloons' accompanied by an image of him appearing to do just that.

Alexandre Lacazette
Arsenal FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League | Alex Morton/Getty Images

Arsenal have so far been tight-lipped on the matter, a club spokesman simply saying: “This is a private matter which we are taking seriously. It will be handled internally.”

The incident has, somewhat inevitably, been conflated with the ongoing speculation surrounding his future, as the Mail claim that this, coupled with his stalling contract talks, could lead to the end of his stop-start spell in north London.

Lacazette - who turns 29 later this month - has netted a respectable 45 goals in 117 appearances for the Gunners, but there have been question marks raised surrounding his work-rate and efficiency this season.

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He has registered nine goals in all competitions, but despite returning to form before the enforced break, only two of those have come since the turn of the year - and he had lost his starting spot to Eddie Nketiah.

If frequent reports are to be believed, the club are interested in offering him to Atlético Madrid as a makeweight in a potential deal for Thomas Partey, who is thought to be the club's primary midfield target as they look to strengthen on a shoestring budget this summer.

The Gunners may look to replace Lacazette with Amiens striker Serhou Guirassy, with whom they have been linked on Monday.

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